Letter – Thomas Jackson, 2 February 1864

2015.002.144

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis Jackson, from Macon, MS. Thomas gently chides his wife for feeling jealous of the attention he receives from some female friends, and reassures her of his love. He describes how he taught a few young ladies to make cigaritas, and that they asked several questions about Lucy and the couple’s courtship before they were married.


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Macon, Feby 2. 1864.

My Love,

I’ll have a race to finish this in time for today’s mail – but my love is strong and can accomplish much – I received your delightful letter yesterday –

I know you must have returned home Saturday – The whisperings of my love rarely deceive me – I am rejoiced to find you in such fine spirits, & ever so glad to know you are cheerful & happy –

Oh! I am so happy in my little wife – she’s the dearest, the sweetest, & the best in the world – How could you, my Love, imagine I intended a “cut at you”, about the gloves? I never dreamed such a thing –

Miss Edith was knitting a pair for Captain Longborough – said she was very fond of knitting – would like to knit gloves for all the soldiers, & would knit a pair for me if she could get the wool – I thought it mighty kind in her, & told you of it, as I tell you everything else – Ah you dear little sensitive thing! Your apprehension is too quick and does me injustice – Don’t you laugh at “Sis Susan’s” comments on your neglect to invite her to our wedding anymore –

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I called to see the young ladies last night according to promise, & proceeded to teach Miss Edith the art of rolling cigaritas – we soon converted the parlor into cigar shop, & were progressing finely when somebody knocked at the door – the girls seemed quite put out – Edith declared she wanted me all to herself, I had come to see her, & Kate must entertain the visitors – Kate vowed she wouldn’t – “Pink” was the oldest & must entertain them, she wanted to talk to Maj Jackson – it was quite amusing – I felt flattered of course – A married man like me preferred to young beaux – I stayed til after the departure of the young gentlemen, & enjoyed a delightful visit – The girls asked a thousand questions – wanted to know what I called you, & if I kissed you before we were married – I told them I called you Pidgeon, [???] &c – & asked Kate what she would think of a man she was engaged to, if he did not offer to kiss her before they were married – she said she’d “kiss him” – Edith said she “wouldn’t” – When Kate remarked, but “Pink you have kissed somebody” – Of course Pink denied the charge – Tell my sweet little sister, that what I have to tell her is of no consequence – she must not be impudent – I would not repay the most ordinary cu-

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riosity – Tell Uncle John to let you keep my shoes until I come which I hope will be in 7 or 8- Give my love to all including Miss Katie & your gentle friend & believe me as ever your fond & loving husband

TKJ


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Lucy Reavis, 1 February 1864

2015.002.143

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Letter written by Lucy Reavis Jackson to her husband, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., from Gainesville, AL. Lucy updates Thomas on her family, and recounts their night filled with piano music and games. She mentions seeing the commander of the post, Captain Guibor, at church, and writes about the arrival of the Quartermaster, Captain Thornton. Lucy mentions several upcoming weddings. She describes the fine weather, and how her mother has been gardening. She also writes of how her brother brought “the itch” (likely epidemic scabies) with him when he returned from Virginia. Lucy is somewhat envious of a friend of hers who is travelling to Macon soon, though she expects her friend will get lonely on the trip.


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Gainesville February 1st 1864 –

Do you remember the old saying dear Major, that we are apt to do often in the month what we do the first day? I have begun bravely you see – writing to you on this first day – Again I have left the parlor for this purpose – Captain Williams & Pa were playing Euchre, with uncle John & Mar Lou as opponents. I hear Nannie laughing at some of Mr Dobb’s witticisms – They seem to be very friendly to-night, rested on the sofa together [???] sits at the piano & I hear her now singing “here’s a heart for any fate” – Poor Ma is in bed & I am sitting near her writing to him I love, above all things – If you were only here this morning – Do you know, Sunday morning I could not help watching the cars, thinking you might possibly come – Mar Lou has decided to go down on the boat Friday week – I said I would rather you would not make us another visit until after her departure, but I cannot wait so long, do come this week if you can. I am so anxious to see you. Mrs Beauchamp was here this morning, told me I’d better write to you by the servant who goes up to-morrow – his wife is over at her house – She told me they asked him if he knew you & he said yes, that you were coming down the latter part of this week, if your wife got home – and she is at home & wants to see you dreadfully – I wonder if you think as often & fondly of me, as I do of you – The Commander of the Post was at Church, with uncle John, Sunday. He is quite gray and has a wife and family in Missouri – He is Dutch, or something, Capt Guibor – The Quarter-Master, Capt Thornton entered on his duties to-day, his daughter has been acting as his clerk & is the only one her brought with him – The Captain says he told him, he had a number of horses in Greene – & his daughters could not attend to them, “Well,” the old gentleman said, he “must try to get somebody” – then – “said the Captain some one must receive the tythe of corn, fodder &c – & yr daughter can

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not see to that” The old fellow became quite perplexed & thought he must hunt up some other clerk to attend to that – They board at Mr Bradshaw’s – The daughter was at church, seems to be quite a nice young lady, about my age – but there is a very rude son – We met him this afternoon & thought he would never tire of staring at us – He will not remain long I believe – You see, they are taking all of our young men away & putting these old, married men here, I regret it so much. Am afraid my friends will have a dull time when they come to see me. The ex Commander – Col McFarland – I understand is to be married shortly & Miss Lizzie B- is going to the wedding – That reminds me that there are to be two marriages near town to-morrow – Miss [???], a refugee is to marry Mr Luckett another refugee, both from Miss. and the other – guess who the bride-groom is______ Old Mr Holloway to Miss Horn, a young girl – She must be marrying to have some one to provide for her – Pa says he met him last week, returning from Livingston with his license, and his face looked like a full moon in Indian Summer, just as round and red. Ma has just roused up sufficiently to send you a long message – First, her best love & she was delighted with your letter, because it is so sweet & affectionate – Every thing in it is charming, save the allusion to taking me to Macon. that she thinks dreadful & almost worse than she can stand – She is much better to-day tho’ still in bed – says she took advantage of the fine weather & planted a number of Irish potatoes, peas &c – She had a nice time until she was attacked by her old enemy the [???] looking after the destruction Mr Chapman left behind him, at Cedar Bluff – Don’t that sound like her? She wants me to go on and tell you about the fences being down – how many young calves & pigs were there &c – but I shant do it – She was delighted with one thing she saw – a sheep with three little lambs – I wish they all had

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as many – If the war goes on, we would have a plenty of wool.

Your old friend Mrs Anderson was at the Chapel, Sunday afternoon – She goes to her own Church in the morning & down there in the evening – looks quite sad & badly – Mar Lou & I went to the poor Drs grave this evening – Judge Pierce asked me, if the body had been buried thought Mrs A- would have let him know, so that he might attend-

We are all in a peck of trouble now – Did you know that Reavis had the itch when he came home from Virginia? Isn’t it horrid? I hate to mention it- Well, he has gotten well – but Mammy Lucinda comes up today & shows Ma her arms, just covered with it – & she has been dressing Willie & waiting on Ma all the time – We are in fear & trembling that Will will have it & then of course all of us will – for he is such a little body, that he will make us fondle him – Wouldn’t it be dreadful? I had rather anything else almost – Ma was laughing to-day at the idea of Reavis’ going to see his sweet-heart in that condition – Mit has been shut up in her room all day, with dreadfully inflamed yes, which she caught from Reav – He always brings something bad with him, when he returns from his trips, so to-day as he was going to Mobile, we begged him not to return with the Small pox —- Mrs Beauchamp was very much pleased, when I told her you were having a fine time in Macon – She longs to be there herself and is going up in about two weeks. I shall envy her I expect but I feel mighty sorry for her, she must be so lonesome all day by herself – without any books to read or anything – If it were me – it would me no difference, for my pleasantest moments are those spent in thinking of my absent Darling – I wrote you quite a lengthy epistle Saturday night, which of course you have received before this – You will be surprised when this letter is given you I expect Captain Williams says he hopes will come down before

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he leaves – I think it will be the last of the week – Major Jackson I think Pa is so funny – He speaks of Captain Williams as though he were not particularly fond of him, but when he comes up, he seems to be delighted to see him & welcome him much more cordially than he ever did you. In fact he seems to look forward to his coming with something of Mitties pleasure – Aunt Mona sends much love to you so do all at uncle John’s – They are well, except aunt Callie –

Well my Dearest, I have talked on at a great rate – I have tired you with my nonsense, no doubt – but I love you so dearly, that my greatest pleasure is in writing, when I can not see you – Congratulate me – (or yourself) I have finished “the contract” the six pair of socks – am almost sorry, for it is very pleasant to have something to do for my dear one – Good-night – & pleasant dreams – Write soon to

Your love Wife-


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Lucy Reavis, 30 January 1864

2015.002.142

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Letter written by Lucy Reavis Jackson to her husband, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., from Gainesville, AL. Lucy describes the events of the past couple of weeks, including a dinner party. The party culminated with ice cream and singing. Many of her acquaintances have asked about Thomas. Lucy describes two conscripts who were on the train with them from Eutaw to Gainesville. She also writes of an attempt to burn down a local school, possibly by a servant. She has seen a few old beaus, and remains glad to have married Thomas. She does, however, express some jealousy at the idea of other women paying attention to her husband.


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Home January 30th 1864-

My beloved Husband,

To-night I have received your two dear precious letters, so like yourself that I am perfectly radiant with joy & love after reading them – You are so good, two letters without once hearing from me! But I did write – Last Tuesday, while in Eutaw I sent you a poor apology for a letter – but they are all poor enough – Where & how shall I begin to write all that I have to say? Believe I will go back to the date of my last, and give you a little journal of events, trivial and unimportant in themselves, but I am vain enough to believe that all I do is of interest to my darling. We went over to Dr. Alexander’s to dinner – Mar Lou was delighted to see us, for she could not disguise that feeling of discomfort which all reserved people feel, when among strangers – the family were kind & polite, had an elegant dinner, finishing off with ice-cream, which I think a great luxury. After dinner they insisted on my singing as my fame had reached them long ago but they must have been sadly disappointed, for I croaked like a frog, not having entirely recovered from my hoarseness – Mar Lou came home with us & we had a pleasant night together, but she was dreadfully home-sick & tho’ we had gone to remain until Tuesday she visited on returning to-day. By the way, when I told uncle John of it to-night, he seemed highly gratified, exclaimed “Bless her little heart! I thank her for it.” Did he attribute it to a desire to see him? There is a question for the wise – Wednesday we walked around town, went to the stores & nearly melted, the Sun was so warm – In the afternoon I went to Mrs Riddle’s & spent the night with [Nic/Vic?] How lonesome they must be! But the old lady is very talkative & a little boisterous

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In [dit?] that she is a great drawback to [Nic/Vic?] – in the way of getting a good husband I mean – and and certainly she deserves the best – like wise she is going to Enterprise on a visit soon & I am really sorry you are not there – I’d go with her, Every body made particular inquiries about you & Judge Pierce & family desired to be remembered to you, Also Miss Rhoda Coleman – We called on her – She is very lonely, in that large house, without any companion, since Lida came home – She expected her to return yesterday, but Fannie Allen had a party last night & she remained in town in order to attend – I am sorry I did not get back in time to attend – Sister says they had a delightful time, danced til 2 O’clock & enjoyed an elegant supper My old admirer, Mr Jemison was there – he has been in town several days – I suppose I shall see him at Church to-morrow- Lis says he called he “Mit” as in the days of her childhood & she requested him to “put a respectful prefix to it-” I could not have said that – We had a delightful trip to-day – There were only two passengers from Eutaw besides ourselves – Both members of the company stationed there to do Conscript duty – One was a conscript himself – & bemoaned his lot very affectingly – He was exceedingly talkative & gave Mar Lou & Self some excellent recipes for dying cotton, cloth & even gloves – We were greatly amused by him – He left us at Clinton & another young soldier took his place. We chatted away gaily & finally we gave him our brush to take on with him – He was from Tenn. & the other, a very handsome little fellow from Miss. They were as attentive to me as possible – Mar Lou said she got quite jealous & had an idea of addressing me as Mrs Jackson to let them know I was married We are all distressed that our gallant Captain must leave. He came up this afternoon & we had a nice talk – he told me, he had

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received your letter in which you declared your intention of coming down as soon as your “well-away wife” returned – She is at home now & might anxious to see you – but as you are so very busy, you had better wait awhile – I’d rather you would come after Mar Lou leaves – but if you have leisure, don’t wait – You know mon cher, that I am always too anxious to see you – I can think of nothing else – tho’ I try not to talk too much – Uncle John received your letter, and desires me to say the shoes are finished & wishes to know, if he must send them by express, or let me take charge of them until you come – He bought Kittie such a nice pair – What do you suppose was the cost? 69 dollars – Isn’t that a great deal? But they were really elegant English shoes – She has not been down this week – Miss Murphy is quite sick & she is missing her – The boys tell me that an attempt was made to-day to burn the old Academy – or rather last night – They had a good deal of cotton in one of the rooms & while all the teachers were out spending the evening, a torch was thrown in & the cotton was all burning, when it was discovered – You remember hearing the girls tell of a difficulty they had up there, with some of the children & their maid – It is supposed that this servant of theirs did it – Ma has been spending several days at “Cedar Bluff” returned this afternoon quite sick, with fever – She desires her warmest love to her darling Son & thanks for the nice letter received this evening, says she is too sick to answer it just now – but will make me write for her if she does not get quickly better – Lis sends her love & says if you do not come down very soon, write her a note & let her know what you have to say to her. She is very much put out at the Captain’s removal – He is too funny – says he supposes you sympathize with Alfred also. He has lately taken unto himself a wife & does

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not want to leave her, although he has given him full permission to find another at every place they go to her– He seems to think people affections are easily changed from one object to another I left him in the parlor playing cards – to write to my dear old Precious, but Mr Jemison has just come in & I must go back & entertain him – Au revoir mon bien-aime — Well he has left and though it is nearly 11 O’Clock, I must finish my letter, as to-morrow is Sunday – They are all laughing at Mr Dobb about going to the party last night & patting his foot, while the dancing was going on – Ministers ought not to attend such entertainments I think – Poor Mr Jemison looks so badly, gave me something of mine he had – said he never intended to return it until I married or he died – I am mighty glad I married you, instead of him never was more surprised, than when he shook hands & called me by my new name – I thought certainly he’d say “Miss Lu” as he used to do. Your letters come very quickly generally, but to-day I received two at once – the 27th & 29th – I am glad the first did not come sooner, as it might have been sent to Eutaw & lost – my dear darling, you write such nice letters – I ought to be mighty good & thankful for your great love – I am sure I am as thankful as can be and love you in return with all my heart – To-morrow will be two weeks since I saw you Isn’t it an age? I know you were quite an acquisition to Miss Fannies party & helped nicely to entertain her guests. I am glad you enjoyed yourself & like the Sledge girls – When do they leave Macon? Capt W- asked me to give you his regard & say that you must give his love to the girls & tell them he will be glad to get the letter they propose writing – Oh! I laughed so heartily at that part of your letter, in which you spoke of Mr Hart’s being a beau – They (the young ladies) ought to see all the little scions, I am sure they would not care to have him as a beau, even if his wife were out of the way – You are almost as bad as Madame [???] our singing teacher’s husband – A Hungarian, he said all of the men in

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his country first valued their moustache – next their horse & thirdly the wife – but no matter what [missing] write I shall conclude to believe that I reign supreme in your affections I feel quite cut your allusion to Miss Edith’s promise to knit you gloves – Did you intend it so? I shall not allow these girls to be paying you so much attention I am afraid it is a bad plan to have so handsome a husband, & shall so be thinking that I ought to have followed M[missing] plan when she married such an ugly fellow [missing] gave as the reason, that no body would want to take him from her Mar Lou talks of going home Friday but I should insist on her remaining until the next week send much love to [missing] When may I expect you? – I don’t like [missing] you to be here, [missing] Lou is, for I cannot [missing] myself from you [missing] any with her – but [missing] cannot wait two [missing] longer, can we? I [missing] see you very much [missing] regard to Edith & Ka[missing] and write to me soon [missing] like a darling as you [missing] with great love, your Lucy


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 27 January 1864

2015.002.141

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy, from Macon, MS. Thomas is unhappy at the prolonged separation from his new wife and inquires about her visit to Eutaw. He mentions a recent conversation with a local woman about securing a room for him and Lucy to board in. He also describes a party he attended the night before, and how they played plenty of games, although there was no music or dancing. Thomas remarks on the romantic lives of several of his friends and comrades, and mentions that “beaux are in demand.” He requests that Lucy send his love to her family, and writes that he hopes to see her within a few weeks.


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Macon, Jany 27, 1864.

My sweet wife,

I have just read over again your last two charming letters, and am all impatience to see you – Our wedded life has opened to me an unthought heaven., while this cruel separation deprives me of much of its happiness – Oh! I am too, too anxious to see you – To me, your voice is a delightful music – Your winning smile, an irresistible spell – If there is anything under the skies I worship, it is my honor – if there is anything dearer to me than that honor, it is your own sweet self –

My fond heart sends blessings to you upon every breeze, and I am entirely eternally yours.

Mr Hart came up from Mobile this morning – saw Reavis at the Junction, who told him you were to start to Eutaw today – I am glad you concluded to go – Miss Mar: Lou: deserves this attention from you, & will appreciate it – I hope you may enjoy your visit – You must tell me all about it, that I may share in your pleasure – I called upon Mrs Larnagin yesterday – Mrs Ferris

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was there – I soon made my business known – it was not unexpected – Kind Mrs Beauchamp had prepared the way – Mrs Larnagin has three gentlemen boarding with her – Would not mind taking others, if she could get anything to eat – She did not give me a positive or final answer – Mrs Ferris advocated our case warmly.

I told Mrs Larnagin we did not expect anything to eat – we were in love – and that I would call again before going to Gainesville – She seems a sweet gentlewoman, and willing to oblige us – only hesitates from want of confidence in her resources – La belle Fannie had he little party last night – We had cards, & games, syllabub & cake – no music no dancing – quite a pleasant little affair – I played the “agreeable” to Miss Pat Lyles, whom I found to be quite a sensible girl – She does not like her younger sister’s having married before her – is apprehensive the term “Old maid” will be applied to her prematurely – silly girl, in that, isn’t she? Miss Edith & miss Kate were present – They improve vastly – A little abrupt, or so – only habit – No letters from Charlie very recently – Had a long chat with the former – two of the Company, Doctors Brown & Rigg, are

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said to be in love with two others of the Company – the Misses Bush – One of the gentlemen affects the heroics, & tries to look consequential – the other attempts witticisms, but never gets beyond a species of waggery – The “Bushes” are thriving little shrubs, but require culture – altogether, the brace of couples seem very well matched, and appearances confirm the reports about them.

The young ladies here seem to think a girl very fortunate if her matrimonial prospects are visible – Beaux are in demand, & the advent of a single gentleman is forthwith telegraphed the length & breadth of the community – What do you think, all the girls want to know if any clerk were single – Ha ha! Old Jim Hart! Some of them asked me – You should have seen me presiding at dinner today – Half a dozen ladies at table – Capt Lucas absent – roast turkey to carve – I managed the turkey very well, but forgot the ladies names before I was ready to serve it – Called them all sorts of wrong names- my mistakes were ludicrous enough – La belle Fannie helped my out now & then – I was glad to amuse them however, even at the expense of my blushes – It was a delightful dinner party – we all laughed &

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enjoyed it vastly – I am vain enough to think I made an unusually favorable impression, notwithstanding my blunders, which, though numerous, I had sufficient skill & tact to turn to my advantage-

I have at last succeeded in getting the rooms I desired – they are delightful – I moved in yesterday – I’ve got Mr Hart in his shirt sleeves hard at work – Oh he will have such a delectable time fore the next two or three weeks – I shall be no better off – but sill always find time to write, if only a line, to my Darling, who is the bright queen of my thoughts – Do my letters reach you regularly? – I hope so – this is the fourth since I saw you. Give my love to your Mother – Tell her I remember her affection for me with pride & gratitude – I only wish I were more worthy of such goodness –

I send much love to your Father, and sweet sister, little Willie & all – I hope to be with you in the course of two or three weeks if not sooner – I shall work hard – At the bare thought of seeing you soon, my heart beats as if it had wings. Good bye my own sweet wife – fondly yours TKJ


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 25 January 1864

2015.002.140

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis Jackson, from Macon, MS. Thomas recently sent Mr. Hart to Mobile, so all of the office duties have fallen on his shoulders. He doesn’t mind the work, but would be happier if Lucy were with him. He is looking forward to returning home soon, and expresses his great love for his wife. “When will this cruel war cease,” writes Thomas, “that we may be with each other always!” He has a few social outings to attend in the coming week, and asks that Lucy extend his regards to family and friends.


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Macon, Jany 25, 1864

My precious Wife,

I have been as busy as a full hive of industrious bees in the blossom time – Only a little gallop, now & then, by way of recreation – I had to send Mr Hart to Mobile, & all the labors of the Office devolve on me – I don’t mind it though, for I like work when my duties are not perplexing, & would be perfectly happy if you were with me – I haven’t called upon Mrs Larnagin yet, but purpose doing so tomorrow – hope she will prove tractable – I am sure if she knew what a dear little thing you are, she would not hesitate a moment, and almost take us to board for nothing – Oh I shall be so happy when I can go home, sure of being welcomed by your smiling face – God bless you my own Darling – You are the pulse of my life – My love for you never wavers – It loves above all considerations except your happiness, which I pray for constantly –

Nothwithstanding all my occupations, the

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past week has dragged heavily along – I miss you so much, & wish for you continually – When will this cruel war cease, that we may be with each other always! Will you not be happy then? –

I have not been out since the party, but expect to attend several this week – I purpose calling upon the Misses Sledge this evening – This note will probably find you in Eutah – I hope you may enjoy your visit there – Be sure to give my love to all at Judge Pierce’s – You must bring Miss Mar Lou back with you – I wish so much to see her sweet face again before she returns home – At all events, assure her of my sincere attachment – & tell her to remember me with kindness to all at her house – I took a long walk last night – my thoughts were entirely of you – & I was happy in their indulgence – Oh! dearest you cannot know with what confidence, what fondness, what devotion I think of you – You are all the world to me, & I am entirely yours – If I write short letters, dearest, I will try to write them often – Believe in my love for it

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is entirely, eternally yours – When I reflect upon your goodness, yr virtues, your dear love, my heart expands & I love all the world – My love to all at home. May the perpetual smiles of Heaven be yours

yr fond husband

TKJ


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 21 January 1864

2015.002.139

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his wife Lucy Reavis Jackson in Gainesville, AL, from Macon, MS. Thomas writes that he intended to write to Lucy sooner, but was delayed as he had to send a load of beef to Atlanta [Major Jackson is in charge of the army’s supply of meat]. He mentions meeting the daughter of General Leonidas Polk. Thomas expresses how much he misses taking walks with Lucy back home, and writes about his great love for his wife. He inquires about family members, then describes a social outing he recently attended. Thomas retells how he was invited to escort a young lady to a party, but declined as he is a newly married man.


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Macon, Jany 21, 1864,

My own dear Wife,

I intended writing to you yesterday by Major Beauchamp, but early in the morning a dispatch came requiring me to send a thousand beeves to Atlanta immediately – consequently my time was fully occupied making the necessary arrangements until it was too late – besides I thought it likely you and Miss Mar Lou would have started to Eutaw before he got home, and my letter delayed several days anyhow – I took a ride yesterday evening – the weather was fine & the streets were all alive with the bright faces of many fair ladies, and troops of merry children – How delightful it must be for them to come out to breathe the fresh, invigorating air and enjoy the warm sunshine once more, after being housed up so long – I met a daughter of General Polk out walking – she has a fine face & is said to sing divinely – I am sure you hail with pleasure the return of fair weather, and will resume those delightful walks you enjoy so much – What a dear little indefatigable pedestrian you are! How I would like to be with you in your rambles! – I recur to our walks & talks as among the happiest moments of my life – Same how in your loved company my capacity for enjoyment seems increased ten-fold – Your dear presence developes new pleasures and beauties in every object – Nature smiles, and

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my heart bounds and it pounds in the fullness of love entirely yours – How idly that pretended philosopher talked when he asserted that “Absence conquers love” – What nonsense! Isn’t it? Love, having for its object those radiant virtues which belong to you, and whose value is enhanced by the purity of such a lovely character, cannot be conquered, and never, never dies – With me, absence from you, my Love, and association with others, only serve to show how incomparable you are, & to increase the intensity of my affection – It never occurs to me to wonder why I love you – It would be too absurd; when the answer is so evident to all who behold you – The only wonder is, what you ever saw in such a stupid fellow as me to love – while the single desire of my heart is to preserve yr affection, & make myself as worthy as may be, of such priceless love – Oh! I am so happy in the knowledge of your regard – The mail has just this moment brought me yr dear letter of yesterday – I thank you so truly for it – The gentle tenderness of my own precious wife sparkles in every word, and awakens new sentiments of love in my heart – I fear you were disappointed in not receiving a letter from me by Maj Beauchamp – do not think me negligent – I would not pain you for the world – I am grieved about Mattie – I love the dear child more than she can guess – I have felt much of what yr Uncle says, and have been much pained & perplexed by it – She’s a dear

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thoughtless child – be gentle with her – Let us hope nothing more serious than the “fun of the thing” – as she calls it – influences her conduct – even that is reprehensible enough Heaven knows – Young girls cannot be too circumspect – Trifles light as air, sometimes awakens eternal sources of regret – There was a party in town night before last, and another is to be to night – At dinner Miss Fannie Lucas said she would require an escort & would take me if I wished to go – but I am unacquainted with the parties, & told her, that since newly married men are generally considered very stupid on such occasion, I would prefer staying at home – She is a sweet little girl – says she will have a party soon & will bring me out. Isn’t she kind? The weather has been so unfavorable that I haven’t gone out any where as I intend to do – I’m afraid I shall not enjoy myself much however, as I can’t get up any enthusiasm unless you are present – I have deferred calling upon Mrs Larnagin (I don’t know how to spell her name) for the present, so as to allow the letter MRs Beauchamp promised to write, to have due weight before asking her to take us to board – Your dear society would be a great comfort to me, & I think you would enjoy a little visit here right well – but I fear you would sometimes be lonesome – I miss you constantly – tho’ never so much as when in

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company – When alone I can recalls the charms & grace of your society – the pretty expressions you use, and the gentle tenderness of your manner – and am happy as I ever can be, without you –

It is almost impossible for me to write a letter in the day time – I am interrupted so constantly – I must write at night here-after – I send much love to all at home & believe me dearest ever fondly

and affectionately your

proud & happy husband

Thos K Jackson


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Lucy Reavis, 8 January 1864

2015.002.138

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Letter written by Lucy Reavis Jackson to her new husband, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A. Lucy is writing to Thomas even though he is expected to return home the next day. Captain Butler was supposed to visit, but was unable to come due to the frigid temperatures. Lucy updates Thomas on the state of her family members, and mentions the recent cold weather. She writes about how she recently made ice cream. Lucy is thrilled at her new title of Mrs. Jackson, though she worries that she will not see Thomas as much now that they are married as when they were engaged.


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Home. January 8th 1864

My Precious One

Mar Lou says it is foolish in me to write to you this afternoon, as you said in your letter that you’d be here the last of the week, and to-morrow is Saturday – but perhaps you will not be able to come & if you do, you will have this to entertain you to-night at the delectable Junction. Oh! I am so glad you are coming – It seems an age since you left and I have wished for you contantly – If Mar Lou were not here there is no telling what would become of me – As it is – I am in a measure contented, for I could not be so constantly with her, were you here – I am so fond of my Beloved, that I cannot stay with my best friend when he is near – We were very much disappointed yesterday that Captain Butler did not come – The cars did not go out on Wednesday – Arrived about 4 in the afternoon & found every thing so frozen up, that they could get not water from the tank – So they remained inactive until late evening. We were all glad to hear the Captain was coming & Ma had a nice dinner cooked & charged Uncle John to bring him up – Sister had her home-spun ready for the occasion & expected to make him waver in his attachment for the young lady at Jackson. What do you think of Kittie? Going down to Meridian she abused widowers unnecessarily – He was certainly kind & attentive to her, gave her his shawl to make her more comfortable & when she returned it, remarked that he prized it very highly, as it had been his wife’s. Kit was thunder-struck – she had never heard that he belonged to the abused class – I hope he came to-day. The cars arrived as we were going to dinner – Kittie got home on Tuesday – Also arrived on that day to Ma’s & Mrs Anderson’s great joy the body of the unfortunate

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Doctor – He is still unburied – as the ground is too hard frozen to dig the grave – Sallie has been very sick, so poor Mrs A- is in distress in every way. Haven’t we had a splendid freeze? The Captain was here Tuesday night, as impudent as ever. When he left, I thought it must be snowing & sure enough next morn the whole earth was covered – Mar Lou & I have had such charming walks – The next evening we started, enjoyed the walk finely, tho’ both got a hard fall. I was building air-castles for our entertainment, & like the milk-maid – I found them over-turned, by my own fall. We went to see Lizzie Bradshaw this morning – She looked really blue & wintry, tho’ we were in a glees, with the rosiest cheeks — and noses you ever saw – Poor Mr B- has been suffering from an attack of his old enemy, and is still confined to his room. He begs that you will come to see him when you return. We all wished for you Wednesday night Mar Lou & I made some elegant ice-cream – You would have enjoyed it – Your letter came that night – Pa gave it to me, saying “here is a letter for the Major” – He has not become accustomed to my new name yet. I have any quantity of things to tell you, but will wait until to-morrow. Isn’t it too nice? The idea of seeing you so soon – I am mighty sorry Edward was sick, hope he is well again & able to assist you, in taking possession of your new quarters – It will be very disagreeable for you to have to stay all night at Junction when you come down. I am afraid you will not come as often as when we were engaged – Pa & Ma send their love. Kit was delighted, at the affectionate measure in which you spoke of her – She & Mar Lou desire their love – Mammie has gone to see her father – I shall get Mr Warren to take this to the Junction as you suggested – if he finds you there he will give it to you – In the hope of seeing you soon I am your happy & devoted little wife

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I wrote to you on Tuesday & enclosed a letter from some of your friends


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Lucy Reavis, 6 December 1863

2015.002.137

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Letter written by Lucy Reavis to her fiancé, Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A. Reavis was happy to receive a letter from Jackson, and praises how often he writes to her. She expresses her love for Jackson, and how she longs to see him again. She describes recent social outings with friends, which included a “musical soiree,” and a minor fight with some friends, as well as a baptism. Reavis writes that their commanding officer is now Colonel McFarlane, who was wounded at Corinth. She hopes Jackson will be able to visit again the following week, and that he may accompany her to a friend’s party.


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Sunday. Dec. 6th 1863

I have this moment returned from Church, dear Major, and though ’tis Sunday cannot resist the inclination to write you a short letter of thanks for the delightful letter I received yesterday – You are certainly the dearest & best of men & write so much oftener than I expect you to do – Not waiting for me – Could you have seen my perfect delight and happiness when your letter came. I am sure you would have felt compensated for writing it – Lizzie Bradshaw & Kittie laughed heartily at the blushes which suffused my face, when I recognized the dear hand writing & at the eagerness with which the envelope was opened & the letter read and re-read – You are too good, to think so much of me – but you must not deceive yourself I am not nearly so akin to perfection as you seem to think – But however numerous my defects may

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be – I have the most perfect love and admiration for you – and that must atone in a great measure. I have been longing for today to arrive – Not for the right reason – but because it is the first of the week, in which you are to come – I want to see you dreadfully – You being so constantly with me week before last has spoiled me.

We had such a pleasant time Friday evening The Captain as usual came up & we played Euchre & rumy until 11 O’Clock – Just before his departure we arranged to have a musical Soirée on the next evening & told him to bring the Brown family and Mr Lewis up – So last night all four of the ladies came & afterward the Captain arrived with Capt Woodruff, Messrs Hortons, Lewis and Bradshaw – We had a fine time. The evening’s entertainment was opened by a piece, by Mrs Shotwell, Every one played – Mr Lewis had his banjo and Beverly excelled himself. Sung all of the songs you heard him sing, and another Irish song – excellent – “Larry O’Brien” which he acted – also the famous

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“In to Richmond” to the tune “Jordan is a hard road to travel” after the music was through with, we had games – We all laughed too much Edith Sledge nearly killed herself, at the laughing song – I believe they improve on acquaintance & the bodies, ornamented with red & gilt do not look half so “occidental” by candle light – Mrs Shotwell & Porter are so sweet – They are constantly [contending?] about, which I love best – I wonder if they do love me, sure enough. Ma scolded us well this morning, for sitting up until 12 last night.

I was berated on all sides yesterday – Lizzie & Kittie both profess to be very angry with me – The former says she feels, as though our friendship was about to come to an untimely end. But I am sure I can have friends, if I do love some one else better than them –

Fannie Allen & Mollie Moore were baptized this morning. Ma and I stood with them as witnesses – They will be confirmed when the Bishop comes. Ma had a letter from him saying, he would be here on the morning of the 22nd preach the next

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day & leave in the afternoon –

Our commanding officer now is Col: McFarlane, he was wounded through the face I heard at Corinth & is not entirely recovered yet – I never saw Capt Longborough til last night – You will be glad to hear that Mrs Lacy has received a dispatch from Mr L- saying he is well & en route for home – Only two men were killed in the company but about 15 are missing.

I will not give you any advice about changing your office until we meet – Uncle John thinks it will be much more agreeable for you – There are so many nice people up there – Mrs Beauchamp will have to introduce you to her friends – [???] is delighted at the prospect of having some new beaux in your friends – She says you had better overlook Major B-‘s awkwardness – But don’t let’s talk about those things now – Be sure and come this week, the sooner the better – We are all invited to Mr Bradshaw’s next Friday night, to have some more music – Don’t you want to be there? or had you rather stay here, when you come, with your

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stupid little Lucy? Mr Hart is very much exercised about you. says he knows if I am here, after this month he need expect no more pleasant visits home. that you will have to come all the time yourself. He must think like Ma that we will be very selfish – They are all at dinner so good bye. With my dearest love I am truly yours

L. Reavis

Pa has not yet returned


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 19 November 1863

2015.002.136

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Enterprise, MS. Jackson is impatient to see Reavis again. He expresses his love for his fiancée, and mentions how he had hoped to send her a letter when he was in Meridian, but was unable to get to the post office before it closed. He mentions how he had been feeling ill and depressed the week before.


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Enterprise Miss.

Nov 19. 1863.

My dear Lucy,

This week has been an age to me, notwithstanding the various occupations to employ my time – I am so impatient to see you, that it seem interminable.

Do you ever feel my absence thus? I hope not – Such an evidence of yr regard would be of all things the most delightful, as well as extremely flattering to my vanity – but I fain would spare you the anxiety which accompanies it.

At last, however, the longest days must end, whether they be quickened by sunshine, or retarded by impatience, and I live in the sweet hop of seeing yr radiant smiles Saturday morning at Ramsey’s, when I am convinced I shall be fully repaid for all my solicitude – Dear “rare and radiant maiden” – I love you so fondly.

I went up to Meridian yesterday, & wanted to write to you from there – if only to assure you of my unalterable attachment – but after getting through with my business, I found the mail had been closed, so I played several games of chess, ate parched pinders [peanuts], & did some “extensive chatting” with old friends until the Train arrived – Am I not a clever fellow to do whatever you ask me? But I deserve no praise – yr requests seem to fit exactly with my wishes – The bare prospect of affording you pleasure, awakens all that is affectionate in my nature – & I cherish such feelings with pride & satisfaction – How have you passed this week? – Delightfully I am sure – Surrounded by those who admire & love you, it could not be otherwise – besides you diffuse an atmosphere of happiness where ever you go – I wrote you a little note last sunday, which I suspect never reached you – It is no matter – for what I wrote doubtless took the complexion of my feelings – I was in wretched spirits, sick & depressed, & so lonesome –

You will receive this on Friday (if it has luck) & see me on Saturday – so pray excuse my brevity,

Ever fondly yours

TKJ


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.

Letter – Thomas Jackson, 9 November 1863

2015.002.135

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Letter written by Major Thomas K. Jackson, C.S.A., to his fiancée Lucy Reavis of Gainesville, AL, from Enterprise, MS. Jackson tells Reavis that he had planned to write to her the day before, but was unexpectedly busy all day and feeling ill and depressed in the evening. He mentions a herd of “Yahoos” who came to him inquiring about cattle and tithe corn. Jackson also writes of a raid carried out by the “Piney Woods women,” who brandished weapons at local merchants before they were arrested by the military. He had dinner with Major Mims, the Chief Quartermaster for Mississippi, and will soon be having dinner with Major Theobold. Jackson inquires after Reavis’ recent illness, and mentions how sorry he is that he could not be with her during the bishop’s visit.


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Enterprise Miss.

Nov. 9. 1863

My darling Lucy,

When I sent my hurried little note to you by Mr Hart, I promised myself the pleasure of writing to you on yesterday, which was sunday, and expected then to be undisturbed & free to indulge my fond inclinations towards you, I like to be entirely alone when I write to, or even think of you, my love, and cannot bear to be interrupted on such occasions, by the rude necessities of business, or common-place vanities of every-day-life. But things fell out very differently from what I expected – I was busy all the morning, had company in the afternoon & evening and was sick all day – my business was perplexing and disagreeable, my company stupid and uninteresting, and my indisposition oppressed me with low spirits, from which nothing would arouse me – even thoughts of your own sweet self, which rarely ever fail in their enlivening influence, seemed incapable of [missing] the feeling

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of depression under which I laboured, or producing more than momentary sensations of relief – Tuesday 10, I havd proceeded thus far, dear Lucy, on yesterday with my letter, when in came a herd of “Yahoos”, who harangued me about cattle & tithe corn until it was too late to finish in time for the mail – so I had to lay it aside, demonstrating my loyalty to duty, at the expense of my love & tenderness for you – I’m sure I deserve a General’s commission for such a true mark of self denial – Don’t you think so too my love? – The monotony of this dull town was broken in upon on yesterday by a very daring raid – the raiders were all captured, however, before any serious damage was done – It seems that quite a formiddable force of the “Piney-Woods Women” of this vicinage, armed to the teeth, mad ea descent on the merchants, firing their guns & pistols in a very war-like manner, & would have supplied their necessities, vi et armis [with force & arms], had they not been arrested by the military – I assure you these piney woods delivered for once, a very [for]middable array of Charms, indignant [missing] though they were.

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However much the [missing] such outbursts is to be deprecated, I have it [not] in my nature to censure the poor women whose husbands, sons, & brothers are away fighting our battles, & who slaves her eyes out for the comfort of our armies, while her babies are crying for bread, when she raises her feeble arm to secure for herself & needy family the actual necessaries of life which are withheld from her by the grasping hand of avarice – I dined with Major Mims (Chief Qrmr for Mississippi) on yesterday – the party was small & select, the dinner sumptuous, & the host admirable, Mrs M. though at home, did not make her appearance – I don’t know why – They have no family – the Major lives well – His house, which he recently purchased here, is comfortable & furnished with luxury & some taste – especially in the item of mirrors. I saw there a pious cover, which some lady wishes to exchange with him for a servant, worked in the most elaborate style – the owner says it took her fourteen years to finish it – What patience some people have! I’m sure I should have wearied of such tedious work in an hour. It is, however, very beautiful [missing] admired

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which [missing] compensate the fair architect for her [missing] & pains. We are to dine at Major Theobold’s today & the time approaches so I must make haste, or this letter may be further delayed – I felt much concerned about your illness until I came to yr delightful postscript to yr sister’s note – How good of you to write to me, and you so sick! It was so like my gentle darlin g- How is it possible, my love for he should be otherwise than like the evening shadows, which go on increasing until the close Dear darling Lucy, be careful of yr health for my sake & those who love you so much, & be careful, exceedingly careful, of your sweet voice, for your own sake, if not for mine – I add “not for mine”, because you will persist in saying, that I don’t like music. You will be convinced to the contrary some day I hope – I am so sorry I could not be with you during the Bishop’s visit – but my consciousness of the claims of duty, denied me the much coveted pleasure – I do not know exactly when I shall be able to go on a little visit to you – but it will not be long first – Thank your dear mother for her kind inteions towards me & assure her [that] I am not too proud to receive anything [missing] motherly hands – my only fear

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[is] that I am unworthy of such unvaried kindness – Bless her dear heart – a good mother aught to make a good child & I ought to be, as indeed I am, the happiest man in the world to possess the love of such a child – write soon dear Lucy, & make, as I am convinced you will every allowance for all apparent [missing] & neglible [missing] in [missing…] with your dear graceful letters

God bless you & soon restore yr health – is the constant prayer of him who is fondly yours TKJ


Lucy Reavis (age 21 in 1863) was the daughter of prominent judge, Turner Reavis. She met her future husband Thomas K. Jackson while he was stationed in Gainesville AL. They married December 16, 1863. At least 30 known letters exchanged between them during the war years have survived. They had five children together. Lucy passed away in 1876 at just 33 years old. Thomas never remarried.

Thomas K. Jackson was born December 12, 1824 in SC. He entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in June 1844 and graduated with the class of 1848. He was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant of the 4th U.S. Artillery, then transferred to the 5th U.S. Infantry, then the 8th U.S. Infantry. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1849. He served about 7 years on the Texas-Mexico frontier with James Longstreet, until he was assigned as an instructor of infantry tactics at West Point in 1857. In 1858 he rejoined the 8th in Texas. In 1861 he resigned from the U.S. Army and was made a captain in the Confederate Army. On September 26, 1861 he was announced as Chief Commissary of the Western Department under General Johnston. He was appointed major on November 11, 1861. He was captured at Fort Donelson in February of 1862 and imprisoned at Fort Warren. He was exchanged c. May and returned to duty as depot commissary in Gainesville, AL, where he met Lucy Reavis. They courted and were married December 16, 1863. Jackson was stationed at various sites throughout the remainder of the war. He was paroled at Gainesville on May 13, 1865 following General Richard Taylor’s surrender. He remained in Gainesville with Lucy to raise their family and work as a merchant and farmer.